The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
Perspective: Always See the Big Picture

1. Opening: Mindful Moment

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2. Inspiration

“For every event in life,” the Dalai Lama said, “there are many different angles. When you look at the same event from a wider perspective, your sense of worry and anxiety reduces, and you have greater joy.”

The Dalai Lama had discussed the importance of a wider perspective when he was telling us about how he was able to see the calamity of his losing his country as an opportunity. He had been able to see not only what he had lost but also what he had gained, wider contact and new relationships, less formality and more freedom to discover the world and learn from others. He had concluded, “So therefore, if you look from one angle, you feel, oh how bad, how sad. But if you look from another angle at that same tragedy, that same event, you see that it gives me new opportunities.”

3. Reflection or Challenge

Desmond Tutu says, “When you are stuck in a traffic jam, you can deal with it in one of two ways.” We can learn from him this boost for processing frustration. Rather than thinking of traffic as an obstacle to getting where you want to be, try telling yourself it’s a welcome break from work, or the perfect opportunity to listen to your favorite podcast. If you have a passenger, take this time to connect with them. Ask them to tell you a story you've never heard.

Your perspective on a situation is a choice. And altering your perspective is one of the easiest, most immediate paths to improving your mood. When you choose your perspective, you can “take back” some of the good energy you have when you're not embroiled in stress or pain. Perspective literally makes you more powerful!

4. Closing: Appreciation

Close the meeting with an Appreciation Circle. Give each person a chance to say something they appreciate about the person to their left.